About Me and My DIY Blog

December 17, 2013

If you prefer videos, you can get to know about me and what my blog can help you with/inspire you to do in the video below. It will play after a short ad. If you prefer to read, you can scroll on past it :)

Let’s get the small talk stuff out of the way. Like, the things we would chat about if we were sitting next to each other on an airplane. I tend to be pretty friendly on airplanes and my husband tells me I perpetually overshare with anyone who will listen.

Hi, I’m Tasha. I’m from the great state of North Carolina (a phrase I use often) and have always lived in the South. Nope, I know I don’t have a Southern accent—it’s a long story, but my mom trained it out of me now I totally resent the fact that I don’t have one. I know, it’s weird.

My husband, Joe, and I have been married for over 19 years. We are college sweethearts and he is hands-down my favorite adult in the world. We have sweet twin girls who are growing up way too quickly. Yes, the first year was hard, but overall I think twins are easier than singletons (insert the shocked face most strangers let out when I say that). Want to see a photo?

DIY blogger Tasha Agruso and family

I’m a professional blogger. Yes, that is really a thing. I was a civil trial lawyer for over 13 years. Yes, it was stressful. No, I didn’t set out to become a professional blogger, but when my hobby blog started getting readers other than friends and family, I thought I might be on to something, so I grew it into a full-fledged business. I gave up my partnership at my law firm in January 2016 to blog full-time. Yes, I’m serious. No, I don’t regret it. In fact, it's the best thing I have ever done for myself and my family.

Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, let’s get to more fun stuff.

Joe and I have been DIY addicts since we purchased our first home in 2002. We became DIYers because it’s the only way we could afford to get the look we wanted in our home. We started out with some basic hand tools, a circular saw and a straight edge. With that, we built furniture, built-in bookcases, an entire closet system in our first home. And we've acquired a whole lot of tools and tackled a whole lot of projects ever since then.

So, I don’t usually look like this (showered, with make-up and hair done).

DIY blogger Tasha Agruso

You are way more likely to find me looking like this.

DIY blogger, Tasha Agruso

And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Why? Because through creative DIY projects and hunting down affordable home decor, we have been able to design homes (we are in our 4th house now) that we LOVE and we haven’t spent a fortune or gone into debt to do it. And I firmly believe that living in homes we love are a huge reason for how happy and fulfilled we are as a family. Because our home is our happy place. Plain and simple.

And now my mission is to help everyone design a home and life they love, too! Here’s the thing.

If you are looking for a DIY and home decor blog to inspire you, look no further!
No one should hate their home.

No one should feel embarrassed by their home.

In the midst of crazy busy lives full of work, kids, homework, housework and well, LIFE, our homes should be our happy place–the one place we would rather be than anywhere else.

Our homes should be designed and decorated in a way that make us feel welcome and happy. We should love every single room in our homes. Yes, even the often neglected laundry rooms, utility rooms, garages, and closets of the world. You should love EVERY room in your home. 

That's why I created Designer in a Binder®After being asked all the time if I offer interior design services (I don't–sorry!), I decided to put the design system I use for myself every time I tackle a room in our home onto paper so that you all can use the same system. It's simple and it works!

Designer in a Binder which walks you through the exact design system I use every time. It's an affordable alternative to an interior designer. It's helped over 7,900 people so far to create rooms they absolutely love. Click HERE to learn more.

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We don't love every room in our house yet, but we are well on our way! We totally transformed our last house and we are working on transforming our current house one room at a time! You can see the progress we've made in the first 6 months in our current house HERE.

And you know what, we've spent a whole lot less money renovating our houses than you probably expect. Because here's another thing…

If you are looking for a DIY and home decor blog to inspire you, look no further!

No one should settle for rooms they don’t love because they are on a tight budget. Don’t believe me? I totally transformed our laundry room for $71 out of pocket. For real. You can read about the full transformation here, but the point is, a little creativity and elbow grease can go a very long way. Check out the before and after.

old outdated laundry room

gorgeous laundry room
So WHY does all this matter? Because…

If you are looking for a DIY and home decor blog to inspire you, look no further!

Having a home that you love is possible, and it will actually REDUCE your stress and make you feel less overwhelmed. When your home is clean, organized and designed in a way that you love, you can rest, relax and enjoy time at home.

And one more thing that I just HAVE to blurt out or I will explode (pet peeve alert)…

If you are looking for a DIY and home decor blog to inspire you, look no further!

How many times have you known a friend or family member that decides to sell their house and then tackles a “to do” list of fixing things or sprucing up their house before the listing goes up? Yep. All the time, right?! I've even known people’s who renovate entire rooms just to sell their house. And more often than not, I hear them say, “Our house looks so great now. I wish we had done this years ago so that we could have enjoyed it before selling it!”

Y'all, that is so sad! We shouldn't just tackle our list of things to fix or finally weed our yards so that other people will want our homes. We should do those things so that WE can love our homes! Do you really think a total stranger deserves having those things done for them more than you deserve to do them for yourself? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

You deserve to design a home you love now. Do it for yourself. I promise you, YOU can design a home you love. And we have lots of free resources to get you started.

Click here to subscribe

Trust me, if we can do it, you can do it!   We are busy, working parents and we have no special training whatsoever, just lots and lots of passion and creativity.  In other words, we are a lot like you!

You can click here to tour our current home. And you can check out some of my most popular posts here.

I am humbled, thrilled and excited that my work has been featured by so many amazing magazines, blogs, and websites, including those listed below. I've even been on TV because of this little DIY blog of mine!

You can see me talking all about my $71 laundry room makeover on the Rachael Ray show by clicking here. And in case you are wondering, YES, it was incredibly fun!

 Tasha Agruso, DIY blogger Tasha Agruso HGTV Magazine Feature
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Click on the logos to go directly to the features of my work.

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If you like what you see, be sure to subscribe for FREE email updates so that you never miss a post or inspiring idea!  You can also follow me on social media–I love sharing sneak peeks of my projects on Instagram and tons of inspiration from other talented bloggers on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

 
But my favorite way to stay in touch is with my weekly newsletter :) So be sure to subscribe and get one of my free guides by clicking on the image below :)

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  1. […] Tasha is a designer "trapped in a lawyer's body". She loves designing special gifts for her friends, and this dotted sharpie mug is a winner. […]

  2. Sandra L Aguilar says:

    Hi Tasha!
    I’m so happy I came across your site. I will definitely be trying one of your projects (repainting kitchen cabinets) and have bookmarked your site so I can visit often. One suggestion I had is if you could provide an index of your specific projects that would be so amazing – I am looking for something specific about bathroom decor, and I already went through 8 pages of DIY Decor Caterogy. Lots of good ideas, but still haven’t found what I was looking for.
    Hopefully this is a feature that you can incorporate, but either way I look forward to using your site in the future for more of my projects. So much to do, so little time! :-)

    Thank you!
    Sandra A.

    • Tasha says:

      Thanks for the idea Sandra! Try using the search with more specific key words, like bathroom or bathroom decor. Thanks for reading!

  3. diane gainey says:

    Tasha – I need help. I want to paint my cabinets in my laundry room. the side pieces are covered with what looks like a faux wood finish. The side bottom is curling from water/use, etc. QUESTION: can I use the General Finishes Milk Paint to paint these three showing cabinet sides? I am not good at the message thing so if you can just email me at diangainey.com it would be great. If I can’t paint, how can I freshen them? I fear if I sand I will get particle board sides which will ruin everything. HELP? the doors and drawers are solid wood it seems-

    • Tasha says:

      I do not think painting is a good fix for the side that is curling. I would hire a handy man to fix the side with a new board and then paint it! Hope that helps.

  4. Anne A. says:

    Hi Tasha,

    My name is Anne Arntson and I am the Editorial Production Assistant for HouseLogic.com, a home ownership website sponsored by the National Association of Realtors.

    Our visual team recently came across your electrical panel before/after images, and we think they would be great to include in an upcoming article on hiding your home’s eyesores. I’d like to get written permission to use them. Can you please send me an email? [email protected]. I’ll explain the details!

    Thank you!

  5. grace says:

    Hi Tasha, I am a student blogger who is absolutely inspired by you! Of course, I am not into the field of DIY and design, but I am a teenage travel blogger who wants to go to law school and do something law-related in the future. I can never see myself as a full-time blogger and quit a law job, but it’s so amazing to read about someone who has! I would love to read more stories about when you had both your job and your blog. Do you happen to have an archive page specifically for that?
    Have a wonderful day:)

    love from Grace Says

  6. Libby says:

    Tasha,

    I found your blog while searching for tips to refinish an ugly oak vanity. When I saw the title of your website, I literally laughed out loud for I too am a designer trapped in a lawyer’s body! I have been practicing law in Ohio for 12 years AND I also own a house flipping and rental company with my dad. So very nice to meet a fellow attorney blessed with creativity! I am going to give your tips a try and redo this vanity. Thanks for the great article!

  7. abigail nasser says:

    Hey,

    I’m looking to buy some advertising space on designertrapped.com. Is this something that you’d be interested in talking about further?

    If so, then please reply to this email so that we can kick things off.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Abigail

  8. Gayle says:

    HI Tasha! This is Gayle! You reviewed my living room tonight on your live Facebook feed! I was so excited to have you critique it! Your ideas were wonderful! I was there live but I couldn’t figure out how to leave a comment. UGH! Now I can get started on this room. I would love to send you pictures of ALL my rooms so you can review them as well! I have 6000 square feet of design dilemmas! We have lived in our house for 1.5 years and have not done anything!! Thanks again! g

    • Tasha says:

      Hi Gayle!!! So glad you were happy with my suggestions. Feel free to submit any more through Thea the same way you did the first one. Thanks for reading!

  9. I’m writing to ask permission to feature your painted floor in an upcoming round up I’m writing for PrettyHandyGirl.com. We’d like to use one photo from your post:
    https://designertrapped.com/how-to-paint-your-linoleum-floors-yes/.
    Of course we will link back directly to your blog post.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kathy! You are welcome to use one image with a link back to my blog post. Thank you! On another note, are you interested and/or available to write round-up posts for other bloggers? I would be interested in chatting with you about it. You can email me directly at [email protected]. Thank you!

  10. Diana says:

    Hi, love your fireplace make over!
    I wanted to do the same but my contractor said the concrete would not stick to the board for too long and crack rather sooner then later.
    So my question is, how long ago did you do it and how did it hold up?
    Thx a lot!

    Diana

  11. Kim says:

    I just found your blog through Pinterest and I love all of your ideas! I also saw a framed picture of NC on your wall. I live in Winston Salem, NC. What part of NC do you live in?

  12. Christina D says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon a pinterest pin of yours while searching for DIY cabinet ideas.
    I am even MORE grateful I found your blog BEFORE embarking on an extensive DIY journey with what I considered to be “lofty goals.”
    Thank you for giving me the inspiration to trust my artistic/creative side. I can relate completely to your busy lifestyle so this definitely speaks to me. I now have a mantra “if they can do it (WITH TWINS) then we can do it!” (My husband and I don’t have children yet)
    I can say with sincere honesty this is my first-ever blog subscription and I am so glad its yours.
    This has served as a mini go-to handbook that I will reference before we start each project.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your home and your work in an effort to help educate and inspire others. :)

  13. renata says:

    Hi Tasha,
    I thought someone is joking with me when I red what you wrote about you. And the reason why is that my life is fascinating like yours;
    I’m also attorney,
    I also have twins, (25 old sons),
    Our first family dog was boxer (now we have swiss Bernsee mounting dog),
    and last coincidence (is it last?) I like all kind of DIY projects; weaving, bobbin lace, knitting, decoupage etc.)

    Kind regards
    Renata

  14. Alysse Dobs says:

    Hi i was reading about how to paint vinyl floors. I love your blog but i was wondering if it would be possible to paint the floors in my bathroom? I know you said you arent gentle on them by any means but i was just wondering about the water and such

  15. Wow, impressive! You wear a lot of hats! I’m new to blogging…I’m sure I can learn a few things from your wonderful blog!

  16. sri mulyani says:

    hi Tasha….your idea it’s truly inspiring me…i’ll be checking you often. nice to meet you

  17. Kathy Mahaney says:

    Hi Tasha! Stumbled upon your site and love it! I feel dumb asking this, but I can’t seem to find where to sign up for your email post(s). Maybe this will do it. Thanks so much!
    Kathy

  18. Melanie Harrison says:

    I was wondering if you have a video for your kitchen cabinet milk painting project? I can’t find anything. Thanks Melanie

  19. Kim Hodges says:

    I saw you post about painting your kitchen cabinets with milk paint. I was wondering how they were holding up?

  20. Debbie Odland says:

    Would love to receive your newsletter….

    Thanks

  21. Pamela says:

    Can you concrete a bathroom marble countertop if the sink is not an integral sink but connected from below the counter??

  22. Ed Aguilar says:

    Hi Tasha,

    I couldn’t find a general contact form on your website, so I thought I would just leave a reply. Feel free to delete this comment.

    Just wanted to reach out to you and let you know we featured your post on Painting Vinyl Floors on our blog last week. Per your copyright, we linked back to you on the image, and an additional link in the heading of the DIY project.

    If you find the post helpful, we hope that you share it with your audience!

    http://americanempiregaragedoor.com/5-diy-projects-to-make-your-home-look-expensive/

    Thank you,

    Ed

  23. Brenda Carr says:

    I have been wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets for ages but have been scared off by all the negative comments when I mention “paint kitchen cabinets”. My biggest fear is chipping and the paint not adhering to the cabinet. Since it’s been a while are you still satisfied with milk paint you used? If so I think I’m going to go for it.

    Thanks,
    Brenda

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Brenda! It has been over a year and we haven’t had a bit of chipping or peeling! If you prep your cabinets, use the GF milk paint and top coat, you should have the same fabulous outcome as us! Good luck!

      • Stacey says:

        Hi,
        I pinned your post about painting your Kitchen cabinets and am now inspired to tackle this job on my own. I will be painting very light (almost natural) wood color with the white General Finishes milk paint. I was wondering if the General Finishes High Performance Top Coat has “yellowed” at all on your cabinets.
        Thanks,

        • Tasha A. says:

          Hi Stacey! We have not noticed any yellowing, except for a handful of spots where we teeny tiny drips collected. Keep in mind we used gray paint, not white. That might make a difference.

  24. Charles says:

    Hi Tasha

    Great site. Does the Milk Paint work as well on non-wood kitchen cupboards? Do you need to sand or prime?

    All the Very Best

    Charlie from England x

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Charles! I have never tried it, but this is what General Finishes’ website says about its milk paint: “General Finishes milk paints will adhere to a variety of surfaces including wood, fiberglass, PVC, vinyl, and most composite materials. Additionally, these paints can be applied over existing finishes, stains and other paints so long as the existing finish is fully dry. However, when painting over other finishes, it’s important to always test a small area first to make sure the paint adheres well to the original surface.” I hope that helps!

  25. kelly says:

    Love love love your site. Soooo happy I found it. Just bought a new house (well, old 1952 farmhouse) and needed inspiration. Found it!

    • Tasha A. says:

      YAY! Thanks so much for reading my blog, Kelly! Hope to see you back often!

      • Debbie How says:

        Hello Tasha: Just happened upon your blog and love what I’ve seen so far. I love blogs where the blogger has a great sense of humour. Your ideas are encouraging to a new DIYer, looking for ideas. Will be checking you out often. Have a wonderful day!

        Debbie How

  26. Vicki says:

    Have you ever done this over a ceramic tile countertop? Do you think it would work if you covered all grout lines evenly?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Vicki! I haven’t personally done it on tile, but it can be done if the tile and grout are in good shape and aren’t cracked, chipping, etc. It would probably take more coats to get full coverage, but it should work!

  27. Tamela Janes says:

    Hi Tasha,

    I am a home owner with my husband, we have been married 30 years. I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer 5 years ago. I had to quit work. in the mean time I need help to paint my cabinets and change the counter tops. We cant afford to replace because of medical bills. can you please send me info at my address or e mail with what i need to purchase. It would be very helpful if you could contact me back. Again Thank you Mrs. Tamela Janes

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Tamela! I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and medical expenses. All of the information about the paint I used for our cabinets can be found here: and the info on our concrete countertops can be found here: . I hope that helps. Best wishes to you!

  28. Alicia says:

    Can I do this on Formica? I have the ugliest counter top in my kitchen.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Debbie! It should work on any completely stable {no cracks, chipping or movement} surface. If you use it in a kitchen, you need to be sure to use a food safe sealer. Hope that helps!

  29. Heather says:

    We have a double wide with a corner fire place that is plain. No brick or anything, well the hearth is brick…anyway I was just wondering if the concrete would work to “decorate” it? What dis you put up before you put the concrete on? Our living room has been the same for 15 years, just looking for a change.

    • Heather says:

      **What did not dis..

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Heather! If you mean that your fireplace is basically the same material as your walls, yep, you should be able to go right over it with the feather finish AS LONG as the fireplace surface is totally stable and doesn’t have any cracks or chips. We put up cement board over our brick, but it sounds like you don’t have the need to do it. I hope that helps!

      • Heather says:

        Yes it is the same as the rest of the living room. Plain Jane! Looking to do something different. We are still using the fireplace so I will probably wait till closer to summer to start. Thanks!

  30. brady says:

    Hi Tasha, I also wanted to point out that Magnamix Letters is actually available in many of the Target stores. Just select the ‘find In a store’ option on the product page, enter your zip code and then you’ll be able to see which stores have the product in stock. Again, thanks for purchasing Magnamix and for the great feedback!

    Brady

  31. sarah says:

    Did you update your site, because I now have annoying pop ups that won’t stop. Help

    • Tasha A. says:

      Oh no, Sarah! What is the pop up? If it is an email subscription box, if you close out of it, it should not reappear for you {unless you clear your cookies every time you exit your browser}. If it is something else, please let me know, because there shouldn’t be any other pop ups! Even the email subscription box should only pop up as you are leaving my site.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Sarah! So, I was just on my site and saw these annoying pop up survey ads that I did NOT ad to my site. I have already emailed my web host to see what the heck happened and if they can get it removed from my site. In any event, for now, it looks like you can go to the ad server {Vizu} site and permanently opt out of them: http://www.vizu.com/w3c/policy.htm. I just did it and it seems to be preventing them. So sorry about this! Trust me, it is nothing I want or authorized on my site!!!! Hoping it will be taken care of ASAP.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Love your blog! Raising my hand, another designer trapped in a lawyer’s body here! Did you know that at one time, Strong Interest Inventory/Holland Code categorized the “lawyer” profession as a pure “A” – Artistic?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Elizabeth! So nice to “meet” another designer trapped in a lawyer’s body!!! I did not know that about the Strong Interest Inventory/Holland Code. Very interesting! Thanks so much for reading my blog!

      • Holly says:

        Wow me three! Lawyer trapped in a non-official designers body (no blog, no design posts, just obsessed with Diy projects around the house, party planning, styling etc etc) AND I too am married to a super handy fireman and have three girls under 5. Its really inspriring to see that you did something with all your creative juices. Sometimes I feel like my career is a bit stifling for my creativity and my poor husband has to put up with my outlet in the form of helping me execute LOTS of house projects. Haha

        • Tasha A. says:

          YAY, Holly! So glad I am not the only one :) Gosh, we have a lot in common, though I don’t think we will be having a 3rd, LOL! I hope you will stop by often!

  33. June says:

    I am not navigating thru your site very well. Looking for your Remodelaholic site to see how you did your concrete and paint bathroom counter top.

  34. Gwen says:

    Hi Tasha! I am SOOOO happy I found you and your blog. You are truly an inspiration and I can give you nothing but the biggest of kudos for being able to manage a crazy day job, kiddos and life AND all your DIY and yet still spare the gracious time to share it all!! I am a corporate exec by day, just divorced and about to buy my own home and CANNOT WAIT to put all of your inspiration into action. My sincere thanks to you!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Awww, Gwen, you made my night! Thank you so much for your amazing comment. I am so, so happy you have found some inspiration here. I hope you will be here often. And if you ever have any questions or want some input from me about rooms/projects you are working on, please, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My very best wishes to you as you move into your new home and make it your own!!!

  35. Jessica says:

    Hi! Love you blog, I’m also a lawyer and I feel soooo happy to see that I’m not alone with this rare combo of laws and diy love! Cheers from Yucatán Mexico and nice to meet you partner ;)

  36. Lisa P says:

    What did you do with the lids to the boxes you showed on April 28? You said to check back to see what you did with the lids. I couldn’t find it. Thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Oh no! I need to add that link. I made these candied letter desk clips with them. They are one of my favorite projects–you can check them out here:

  37. Peggy Wankowski says:

    I’m not a blogger, not even sure how I stumbled upon your canvas pictures. But I’m so glad I did! I’ve always had a passion for picture taking & such. Love the tutorial on the DIY picture/canvas. How does one determine pixel size when enlarging a picture? Thank you so much for sharing all your ideas.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Peggy! That’s a great question. Sadly, I don’t know the answer. I upload my images to Costco and have them printed there. I have never inquired about pixel size. That said, I always blow up either professional photos {to which I purchased digital rights} and/or photos taken on my SLR camera. In other words, I have never tried it with an iPhone quality photo. I hope that helps!

    • Cindy C says:

      Hi Peggy. There is a site called Easy Basic Photography. Check the link below. Scroll down the page a bit and they have a multicolored graphic about enlarging photos that shows pixel sizes along with the maximum size of your photo in inches. I keep a copy of it in Evernote for quick reference. Hope this helps.
      http://easybasicphotography.com/image-resolution-pixels-print-sizes.html

      Tasha, love your site!

  38. I just visited your blog, and already got some new ideas – Thanks!
    Your girls are so cute – I have a twin sister, and when we were 3 years old our family also had a boxer dog :)
    Happy SITS day!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thank you so much, Susan! That is so funny that you have a twin sister AND that you all had a Boxer when you were little. Small world :) Thanks for stopping by from SITS!

  39. Amy says:

    Your blog is brilliant, because it’s about real homes that average people are buying these days. Not everyone can afford (or wants to buy) an old Victorian in the most trendy downtown neighborhood – and anyway, those are easy, anyone can decorate a room with 12 inch baseboards! Thanks for the real thing. PS My daughter is also a designer trapped in a lawyer’s body. What is it about today’s lawyers? :)

    • Tasha A. says:

      You made my day with your sweet comment, Amy! And I don’t know what it is about today’s lawyers, but we do seem to be more “artsy” than in generations past :) Thanks so much for reading my blog!

  40. Just found your blog through Instagram :) So glad I did… Nice to “meet” you and look forward to looking around!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thank you, Kendra! It makes my day whenever I hear that anyone has found some inspiration on my blog. That’s why I do it! So happy you came by from Instagram. Nice to “meet” you as well! Have a fabulous weekend!

  41. Deb says:

    I, too, am a designer trapped in a lawyer’s body. I am thrilled to find your blog and love your projects!

  42. Melody says:

    I’m so glad I happened upon your blog. WHO KNEW one could DIY concrete countertops? I can’t wait to say goodbye to my royal blue ones :) seriously. Nice blog, I’ll be back.

  43. Julie says:

    Just read the piece about the stone fireplace. I looked up the product, and they are asking for submissions of how you used their product, you should enter your fireplace.

    http://www.ardexfeatherfinish.com/

  44. You have a beautiful blog Tasha and your home looks great! I am amazed that you have time to be a mom, lawyer, and amazing decorator (and blogger). Keep up the good work :)

    • Tasha says:

      Thank you, Stephanie! I really appreciate it. The biggest reason I can find time to do everything is that I have THE MOST AMAZING HUSBAND ON THE PLANET! It sounds so cliche, but it’s true for me. I just checked out your blog–it is awesome! I think educating people about debt reduction and responsible living is fantastic!

  45. Tasha, thanks so much for stopping by my blog today! I am excited to meet you. Your blog is fabulous! Great design and detail. Also, I am your newest follower. Hope to see you tonight at the Blog Hop. Have a wonderful evening!

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